Review: Detox Market in Ankara

Detox Market 2

Healthy eating options are popping up all over Ankara. New restaurants, businesses, and kiosks are catering to the gluten-free, dairy-free, and healthy eating crowd like never before. Our latest discovery was found while running errands at Bilkent Center. In both Turkish and English, I recognized the words “healthy”, “cold-pressed juices”, and “flourless”. When I stopped to inquire about the then ten-day old business, I met Selin, the lovely owner from Konya, who decided to bring the L.A. health trend she witnessed in America over to Turkey. Wasting no time, she bought high-quality, cold-press juicers, hired staff for a production facility, and set up shop just outside of a popular hypermarket chain called REAL.

Detox Market 3

Aptly named Detox Market, Selin’s business focuses on prepared cold-pressed juices that keep the body alkaline and energized. Juicing is a part of her personal lifestyle and she recommends that others exclusively consume raw juices at least two days a week. Her juices have catchy names like “Ctrl Alt Delete”, “Skinny Jeans”, and “Green Gold”. Each of the green juices have spinach, with some adding parsley, cucumbers, ginger, or carrots. I personally love how Ctrl Alt Delete pairs tropical pineapple with fennel and cilantro. Green Gold is definitely the greenest option, while Green Beauty adds cucumber pulp to the mix.

Detox Market 5

Other juices include a beet-based Skinny Jeans, a pleasant Fruity Blast that novice juice-drinkers and children would love, and a coconut water and cinnamon combination called Feel Better. Additionally, there are a number of creative snacks like gluten-free bread with spinach and beets, sesame and chia seed crackers, and, my personal favorite, chia cocoa cookies. Vegans should note that some of the other products contain organic eggs and/or honey, so be sure to inquire before making your purchase.

Detox Market 4

With many thanks to Detox Market for sharing samples for this review. All opinions are our own.


Review: Juice Love in Ankara

Cold-pressed juice bar in Ankara

In Ankara’s Gordion Mall, there’s a tiny colorful kiosk bursting with color and teeming with life. Curious shoppers ask “Are you selling shampoos? Shower gels?” Even better than artificial colors and synthetic scents, what’s for sale are the fruits of nature’s own coloring box, curated by the Creator—fresh, cold-pressed fruit and vegetable juices made by Juice Love.

For my first taste of the rainbow, I selected Fight the Flu. Lil’ Z was under the weather and I know from experience that the potency of fresh juices helps equip the body to fight off infections. The bright red drink is made from super, anti-oxidant rich pomegranate, immunity-boosting ginger and cleansing lemon. The sneaky last ingredient, propolis, is a known cold and flu fighter but had no effect on the delicious taste of this combination.

For myself, Fresh Me Up, piques my interest. Pineapple is one of my favorite fruits but unlike pomegranate, the tropical treat is imported. Though not a regular item on my shopping list, I know that it’s one of the best natural remedies for a cough, so I gladly share it with Lil’ Z. Pineapple usually irritates her tongue but she had no such complaints when it was blended with lemon, fresh mint, and apple.

The obvious selection for Urbndervish was Nut Love: a combination of hazelnut, cocoa, dates, vanilla and Himalayan salt. We had some as an after-dinner snack and agreed that it tasted like a healthier, lighter chocolate milk than the syrupy sweet version we grew up drinking. With all three drinks being so tasty, it was hard to pick a favorite.

When I sat down to chat with Öykü, one of the owners of Juice Love, she told me about her family’s experience with juicing and how it has changed their lives and improved their health in the past three years. Instead of relying on doctors and drugs, juicing is their go-to for healing and health maintenance. Pleased by the impact fresh juices have had on their life, they wanted to share their knowledge and expertise with others.

Starting out as a home-based business, Juice Love has grown a lot in the last year. Unsurprisingly, most clients are young women who want to lose weight. They purchase Juice Love cleanse packages to slim down but some have elevated their concerns above the waistline and see the value of detoxification and healthy lifestyle changes. Like them, I know how good it feels to be healthy and I’m glad to have Juice Love nearby.

Fresh juices in Ankara

Review: Juju Fresh in Ankara

Fresh, cold-pressed juice in Ankara.

If the name doesn’t grab you, the taste sure will. Fresh, cold-pressed juice is like drinking a salad or a bowl of fruit when you don’t have time to chew. It feels a bit like cheating but in the words of Juju Fresh owner, Işık, juicing is a great way to make your body alkaline and detoxify your system. Just by stepping into the small shop filled with pineapples, oranges, carrots, greens, and beets, I couldn’t imagine leaving Juju Fresh feeling anything less than lively.Juice *IS* always a better idea!

Stepping into the shop, I met a lovely woman who was slowly feeding a variety of fruits and veggies into a small masticating juicer, much like those used to press wheatgrass. I later discovered that this little machine is a potent powerhouse made of surgical-grade materials, developed to treat cancer patients in Europe. Juicing is a well-known treatment for healing and regenerating a weakened immune system, but everyone can enjoy its health benefits too. Cold-press juicers ensure that the enzymes inherent in plant foods are maintained and not destroyed by heat. I was eager to taste the juices for myself.

Juice options at Juju Fresh in Ankara.

We started with a combination of beet, apple, pear, lemon and ginger. The taste was pleasant and mildly sweet. Our next sample was a potent green juice consisting of cabbage, spinach, parsley, lettuce, lemon, and ginger. The taste was more nutritious than delicious, but not offensive in the least. To sweeten our palates, we were offered power balls- a creative reuse of nut milk pulp mixed with dried fruit and rolled in coconut. They were moist and filling. As a takeaway, we had my favorite–fresh almond milk sweetened with dates, cinnamon, and vanilla. It was refreshing and pleasant.

Almond milk sweetened with dates, vanilla, and cinnamon. Yum!

Unless juicing is your forte, it’s great to know that Juju Fresh takes orders and delivers right to your door. Whether for a detox cleanse or just a healthful addition to your daily routine, Juju has got you covered for all your juicing needs.

Fresh-pressed juices for you!

Our visit was hosted by Juju Fresh, but all opinions are our own.

RAWmadan Bars


Traditional sweets are abundant in Ramadan, most of which are baked or fried. Since we gave up baking desserts, we had to create our own sweet treats for the occasion. The most signature “Ramadan dessert” for me is the date ma’amoul cookie–introduced to me on my college campus circa 2003-2004.  It’s a buttery baked cookie with date paste in the center.  So, when I saw this recipe on One Arab Vegan, I was ecstatic to try this raw, vegan reincarnation of my long lost delight.  I made a few adjustments by using the crust from this recipe and making bars, as opposed to individual cookies.  This dessert has officially been added to our Ramadan family traditions.  Enjoy!


1 cup raw cashews

1 cup grated, unsweetened coconut

1 cup pitted dates

2 tbsp. virgin coconut oil

1 tbsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. sea salt


1. Grind cashews with coconut and salt in food processor

2. Add 1/2 cup of pitted dates while the above is still processing

3. Press half of the above mixture into a small, greased (with a few drops of coconut oil) dish (I used a 6″ diameter, round glass dish).  Set aside the second half of the mixture

4. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of dates to the food processor with coconut oil and cinnamon

5. Blend until smooth


6. Add the date filling to the center of your crust

7. Add the remaining crust atop and press firmly.  Store in the fridge until you’re ready to cut and serve